Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Training Your Cat To Use The Litter Box
Unlike dogs, cats are generally happy whenever they are doing exactly what they want to be doing, which leads many people to believe that cats cannot be trained in anything. While this is certainly true in a number of areas, it is absolutely not true when it comes to litter box training! When you are training a cat to use a litter box, the absolute best thing you can do is to start when the cat is still young. Your cat will probably pick up on it right away if you start them off when they are still a kitten. If you wait until your cat is no longer a kitten, the process becomes a bit more diffiuclt. You might end up with one or two accidents from your kitten, but remember that it is a cat's instinct to cover up their business when they finish. This instinct of theirs makes litter box training a cinch. Set them in the litter box every once in a while when they are little. The first time your kitten uses the litter box, heap as much praise on them as you can! Your cat will want to maintain the behavior that made you so happy with them, because - just like dogs - cats respond well to positive reinforcement. Just continue to praise them each time they do it. The same basic principles of setting the cat in the litter box and praising them when they use it holds true when you are litter box training an older cat. This can be more difficult, however, if your cat usually goes to the bathroom outdoors, and if they are inside because of inclement weather. Such cats might skip the litter box entirely, and might instead choose a spot that you most certainly would not pick for them to use! But just make sure you do your part to train them, by continuing to put them in the litter box over and over again. If your adult cat has started to avoid the litter box, even though they are trained to use it, there is a chance they do not like the litter you are using, and there is also a chance they are angry with you. If changing the litter does not work, then you have to do everything within your power to mask the smell in the new spot they started using! The fact that cats usually return to the same spots makes things easy on you if your cat is using a litter box, but it makes it a lot tougher if they have started to give their litter box the cold shoulder!